When people in Pennsylvania develop an estate plan, they may think first of a will to distribute their assets after they pass away. However, there are other important documents that can work as part of a comprehensive plan that can also protect people's interests in case they are incapacitated. A power of attorney gives another person the right to make decisions on the creator's behalf about a range of issues. While a general power of attorney may allow one person to handle everything, people may also create specific powers of attorney that give certain rights to different people.
A power of attorney is an extremely powerful document, but it can also be an extremely useful one. Some powers of attorney go into effect immediately, while others are designed to operate only if the creator is incapacitated. While no one plans for a sudden tragedy, having a power of attorney in place can help to ensure that people receive the health care they would choose and have their financial matters taken care of during their treatment. However, some people may want to have different people make decisions about their health care and their finances.
Different powers of attorney may provide the protection people are looking for. A health care proxy would name a person to make medical decisions. A financial power of attorney would name someone to handle financial matters, but people can also create specific financial powers. For example, one person may be granted the right to make payments from a bank account while someone else may have the right to make investment decisions.
Powers of attorney may be an important part of a person's estate plan that can provide protection while they are alive. An estate planning attorney might draft these documents as well as wills, trusts and other key components.